Monday, December 10, 2012

Flipping For Your Faculty...It's Easier Than Videos

Lots has been made about flipping over the past year or so.

Unfamiliar with the term?

No problem. Here is an explanation.

So the idea is, there is some sort of information transfer (basic information about a learning concept) outside of the learning environment (classroom) allowing for further discussion or extended learning when in the learning environment. (I made that sound all fancy. Neat!)

The watered down version is that we front-load information about a concept outside of the classroom so when kids are in the classroom the time is spent on knowledge extension or deeper understanding of the content.

I will admit it. Not a big fan of flipping the classroom. (Another post for another day.) I am however a huge fan of flipping faculty meetings.

We've all been there. Those meetings that drag on, and on, and on. Seemingly pointless meetings that, while they may have had a purpose, it got lost in the message. Many meetings are just information transfer. What are the dates for training for administering the next state exam? Who is going on the field trip? Remember to walk your kids to the cafeteria. But think about if that hour/90 mins/half day was spend on meaningful, embeded professional development that was participant driven? We complain we don't have the time for that really good PD. Why? Because we are meeting all the time. So instead, lets flip it. Let's front load with all the basic information we all need, freeing up that faculty meeting time for more learning, PLCs, sharing, etc.

But what can you use to share the information. You need something easy. Something that won't take a whole lot of time. But will communicate what you need it to.

Videos. Ah. The traditional tool of the flipper. For some, a great option. There are some easy to use screencasting tools out there (Screencast-o-Matic being my favorite), but for the time strapped administrator, creating a script, shooting and editing can be too much.

What are some other ways you could flip those faculty

Padlet-Online sticky notes can be a simple and easy way to post information to your staff. Create a free account and post. You can even have staff post back. So, for brainstorming, data analysis, or where does everyone want to eat on Friday, Wallwisher is an easy option to share information and gather feedback. (Learn more about Padlet here.)

Voicethread-Perhaps my favorite way for Admin to flip, creating a Voicethread is a snap. Upload an image, PDF, PPT, doc,or short video then leave comments on each "slide." I was working with some administrators and they were talking about putting anonymous walkthrough data in Voicethread and commenting on it for each of their grade levels. Easy! Best part? Just like Wallwisher, it's collaborative so faculty can leave voice, video or text comments on each "slide." (Learn more about Voicethread here.)

Edmodo-If you aren't using Edmodo as a school community you really should be. You can easily post notes, memos, announcements, polls and more to everyone, right in one, private place. (Learn more about Edmodo here.)

So those are my 3 alternatives to videos for flipping for your faculty (or even the classroom). Do you have some other suggestions? Have you flipped your meetings? How is it going? Leave some comments below.
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